The penultimate restoration phase of the stone tables and pavilion at White Rock Lake is underway.
In 2017, the White Rock Lake Conservancy gave the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department $15,000 to restore two of the original stone tables and estimate the cost and scope of renovating the other tables.
On Monday, restoration began on the remaining nine tables, as well as the surrounding grounds. The granite tables will be broken down and rebuilt with as much remnant material as possible on a concrete base.
New grills, stone trash enclosures and improved drainage will be added to the area. Over the years, water has washed down through the pavilion and the picnic area, and the silt has moved and deteriorated the tables. Installing pipes and crushed granite in the dirt will help prevent that from happening.
Construction on the historic restroom — complete with parking and a pathway compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act — will begin in October.
The $650,000 project is scheduled for completion in spring of 2021.
“It’s been a bit of a haul, but we’re more than halfway once this part is finished,” White Rock Lake Conservancy director Jennifer Hoesterey. “It’s fun to finally see the fruits of our labor.”
The City of Dallas built the stone tables and pavilion in 1931 as the lake’s first picnic grounds. A few years later, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was established at White Rock as part of the New Deal program. The young men made more improvements, including the addition of a lily pond and construction of the restroom.
As the pavilion began to deteriorate, the White Rock Lake Conservancy developed a renovation plan and raised nearly $114,000 in private donations for its restoration. In 2015, the existing floor was replaced with concrete and flagstone slab, and the roof was replaced with a standing seam metal roof. A new concrete base and flagstone border walk was installed around the pavilion, as well as a similar pathway to the parking area. The renovation won Preservation Dallas’ Achievement Award in 2019.
The final phase of the project is the restoration of the lily pond. It is still in need of funds. Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Hoesterey at email@example.com.
White Rock Lake Conservancy was founded in 2008 by a group of park enthusiasts at the request of the Park and Recreation Department. Its mission is to enhance the identity, beauty and safety of White Rock Lake in partnership with the department and other neighborhood volunteer groups.